Most everyone on the Outer Banks knows where the Outer Banks Brewing Station is located. It’s a very interesting building, designed by local architect Ben Cahoon, an architectural nod to the turn-of-the-century lifesaving stations including a 30 foot boat-shaped bar and brick inlays in the dining room floor that point to the ocean and were collected over the years from cottage debris that washed to shore. Located at Milepost 8.5 on the bypass in Kill Devil Hills, what makes it most noticeable is the wind turbine in the backyard, and yes, it is functional. But, what the Brewing Station is really known for is excellent beer and food and great live entertainment.
The story goes that owners Eric Reece and Aubrey Davis, Peace Corps volunteers-Thailand-1991, came up with the idea of a brewpub that would also serve excellent food. Fast forward 10 years, and the restaurant is open in Kill Devil Hills. From the beginning the beer they brewed caught everyone’s attention. There are always at least five of their own brews on tap, each full of flavor and true to the style it represents. One of the best ways to try the brews is to order a flight, which is four 5-ounce pours.
Favorite brews definitely vary depending on the consumer. My personal favorite is the lemongrass wheat beer, which is refreshing, goes with everything on the menu and has a nice little snap to it.
Those who frequent OBBS regularly soon come to realize that as good as the beer is the food can easily compete. Chef Pok Choeichom, who created some of the most memorable Brewing Station dishes, recently moved on to open his own restaurant, Pok’s Art. His move was gradual and he passed the reigns to his sous chef, Tony Duman, making this a seamless transition. Which is another way of saying the food is just as good as it’s always been.
They serve both lunch and dinner and neither will disappoint. The style is pub fare, but the preparation is definitely raised a few levels, and the desserts by Tina MacKenzie are absolutely spectacular!
The magic starts with the brews, moves on to the food and ends with the music. The level of talent showcased at the Brewing Station is remarkably high. After the dinner rush, the east end of the building becomes a dance area with open space for concerts. They move the tables out, and for more well-known groups, they seem to fit a few hundred people in the facility.
It’s definitely a place to visit while on the Outer Banks. In many ways the Brewing Station has become an icon for many of the things residents appreciate about our area-great food, a casual atmosphere, fantastic beer and music-and to top it off, they care about the environment. If you’re bringing the kids, make sure to try the birch beer. Every kid who has tried it has raved about the flavor.